Price-gouging allegation leaves 750,000 face masks in limbo

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Health care providers in gowns and masks during the pandemic (Nexstar, file)

HOUSTON (AP) — The state of Texas has filed suit against a Houston auctioneer, accusing him of price-gouging in his auctioning of 750,000 medical-grade and N95 face masks.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday by the Texas Attorney General’s Office, alleges that a Tuesday auction by Auctions Unlimited had bidding on N95 respirator masks reaching as high as $180 for a package of 16 masks.

Amazon sold a set of 100 for $4.21 in late January.

Before the lawsuit was filed, Auctions Unlimited owner Tim Worstell said the state’s action left him with 750,000 masks in his warehouse in a legal limbo.

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